School of Communication and Media

For Undergraduate Applicants:

For Graduate Applicants:

For Prospective Students:

How to Apply-General Overview

Applying for admission to the School of Communication and Media is a two-step process:

Step 1 . Submit an application to Montclair State University–

To apply as a new freshman or transfer student, you must first apply to Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Go to: Undergraduate Admissions   l   Online Application

(Note to MSU enrolled students: Skip the above and proceed to Step 2.)

Following submission of the University application, applicants who qualify will receive a formal invitation, sent by email, to submit a separate Application to the School of Communication and Media and request an on-campus interview/portfolio review (depending upon Major) with the faculty.

Step 2 Submit an Application to the School for an Interview or Portfolio Review
(Minimum admission requirement is an overall GPA of 3.0) – 

All applicants to any program within the School of Communication and Media must submit a separate application to the school, in addition to the University application.  The application will include questions regarding your understanding of programs offered in the School; short essay questions; and general information requested regarding your prior work experience, extra-curricular activities, community or military service, awards and other skills. The questions are to be addressed in conjunction with requesting an interview or portfolio review date, in response to receiving the formal invitation

In scheduling an interview, applicants will be encouraged to request the earliest appointment date available with special attention to the following:

  • Spring semester applicants should request a date in the Fall.
  • Freshmen applicants should request a date no later than March, 2014 (note: in order to be considered for on-campus housing and Financial Aid)

Link to application: Application and Interview/Portfolio Review Scheduler
(Note: Students should only submit the above-linked application after receiving the formal invitation by the Office of Admissions.)

Note to Students living a far-away distance:  Students living far from the University may inquire about alternative arrangements to an on-campus appointment.

Directions to campus: Go to Directions. For those driving, parking is available in the Red Hawk Parking Deck (note: rates apply).  See the campus map for all building locations.  (Appointment locations will be communicated to applicants.)

The School Interview/Portfolio Review Guidelines provide information and preparation instructions for each of the academic programs.  Applicants should review these instructions carefully before scheduling an appointment.

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Current MSU Students – Change of Major

If you are already enrolled at Montclair State University and wish to change your major to a program in the School of Communication & Media, you do not need to reapply to the University. Instead, follow Step #2 of the How To Apply section above and submit your application to the School of Communication & Media.

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Current MSU Students – Communication Studies Minor

If you are already enrolled at Montclair State University and wish to declare a minor in Communication Studies, follow Step #2 of the How To Apply section above and submit your application to the School of Communication & Media.

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Appointment Dates and Information Sessions

The MSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions will notify all applicants who are qualified to submit their application to the School of Communication & Media and request an interview/portfolio review appointment. For all programs in the School of Communication & Media, the following interview/portfolio review dates apply for the academic year:

Interview/ Portfolio Review dates:

  • October 8, 2014
  • November 12, 2014
  • December 10, 2014
  • January 12, 2015 (only for Spring 2015 admissions)
  • February 4, 2015
  • March 4, 2015
  • April 15, 2015
  • May 20, 2015

*Presentation/Tour attendance -- While interview dates are intended for INVITED APPLICANTS ONLY, prospective students to the programs are welcome to attend the preliminary General Presentation and Facilities Tour segment. As an alternative to attending a group General Presentation/Tour, prospective students can arrange for a personalized tour by contacting the SCM main office ten days in advance.

Please call 973-655-7471 to participate in a General Presentation/Tour or to arrange a personalized visit.

Appointment Follow-up

Following the on-campus appointment, the School of Communication and Media will notify you of the decision regarding your acceptance into an SCM major within 10 days.  The status of your overall admission to Montclair State University will subsequently be communicated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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Admission Information Contacts

Questions regarding admission requirements for any programs within the School of Communication & Media may be addressed to the Admission Coordinators:

Questions regarding the University application may be addressed to:

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School Interview/Portfolio Review Guidelines

All Undergraduate Majors (Minimum GPA requirement: 3.0)

  • Applicants must indicate the specific program in which they intend to major.
  • The on-campus appointment will include a brief General Presentation of the School of Communication & Media and each of the academic programs followed by a Q&A and Tour of Facilities, where applicable.
  • During the interview/portfolio review we will explore your understanding of your selected program, your work experiences, creative endeavors and your potential to make unique contributions to the intellectual and creative vitality of the School of Communication & Media both within and outside the classroom. Other qualities that may influence acceptance into the major include motivation, professionalism, communication skills, and broad knowledge and curiosity about current affairs.

  • Transfer applicants must bring copies of transcripts from all previous colleges attended (need not be sealed/official transcripts).
  • The entire visit will last between 1-2 hours.

Additional Instructions for the Filmmaking Major:  Portfolio Submission

In addition to following the above guidelines, applicants to the Filmmaking program must submit a portfolio consisting of the items listed below (note: include your contact info and CWID student number on allsubmitted materials):

  • Film/Video sample– e.g. a film or video you've made. (Note: Please do not bring videos that are solely editing exercises from a previous class or work you did not direct or write.  If your samples include collaborative works, please articulate your role in the production.)
  • Formats -- Works may be provided in a DVD format or on a flash drive.  (Be sure the formats are "playable" and don't require a password to access.  All discs or drives must be labeled with your name and title of the work.  Candidates may also provide links to films posted on the Internet.)
  • Candidates with no prior experience creating films or videos should make this known to the interviewers on the appointment date and instead submit the following assignment:  By renting or borrowing a camera (or using a cellphone with video capabilities), make a “portrait film” of yourself . . .but without showing yourself on camera. The edited piece should be 4-8 minutes in length.
  • One-page biographical statement that describes who you are and your goals for studying Filmmaking. (Why do you want to study Filmmaking?  What do you perceive to be the relationship between film art and the world? What kinds of stories do you want to tell?)
  • Creative-writing sample – e.g. a fictional short story, film script, documentary treatment, or an analytical paper you wrote in high school or previous college, with comments and grades from a teacher.  Writing samples should not exceed 10 pages in length.  Please bring a hard copy with you to the interview, no originals.
  • Optional additional submissions – Candidates may also submit additional artwork with their portfolios such as drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture or installation-art.  Large works should be provided in the form of digital images (JPEGs, PDFs or TIFF files) or photographic prints. 

Please be prepared to leave your materials behind with the Review Committee.  Materials you wish to have returned must be accompanied by a self-addressed-stamped envelope.

Note to out-of-town applicants: Where long-distance travel for an in-person interview is prohibitive, the Filmmaking Program will accept portfolio materials by mail. Send to:

Filmmaking Program -- Admission Coordinator
School of Communication & Media
Life Hall 050
Montclair State University
1 Normal Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07043

Materials sent by mail should be copies, NOT originals, as the School cannot be responsible for the safety of one-of-a-kind work samples. If sending materials please call or 973-655-7471 to confirm their receipt. For materials to be returned, applicants must provide a self-addressed envelope with proper postage.

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Graduate Program: M.A. in Public & Organizational Relations
Application & Interview Guidelines

Minimum GPA requirement: 3.0

Applications to the program are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis.

Overview: The M.A. in Public and Organizational Relations is appropriate for emerging and established professionals including those anticipating doctoral studies.  Applicants are recommended to have completed an undergraduate major from a relevant humanistic or social scientific area of study such as anthropology, broadcasting, business, communication studies, journalism, political science, psychology, or sociology. Where necessary, students may look to improve their preparatory backgrounds by taking additional undergraduate courses before applying to the program.  (note: Graduate credit cannot be given for such courses.)

Applying to the program: The first step in applying to the program is to submit an application to the Graduate School.

  • Include the following with your application:
  •  Essay - Within your essay, please:
    • Identify your topical interests and long-term goals; and explain how your past experiences (educational, professional, etc.) have led you to these interests and goals.
    • Explain why you believe that this particular program—one that integrates concepts and practices pertaining to communication within and beyond organizations—will address your topical interests and help you to accomplish your long-term goals. Be specific with regard to course topics and the program’s overall design.
    • Considering your personal characteristics and life experiences, clarify what you are likely to contribute to this learning community. Use this opportunity to address anything about yourself that the faculty should know—things that might not be included in your formal application materials, but which will help to familiarize yourself to us.
  • Evidence of completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 
    • Your GRE scores must reflect a minimum of 147 for each section.
    • The GRE rerquirement is waived for applicants with a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree.  The GRE is also waived for applicants who earned at least a 3.5 GPA in their undergraduate programs of study.

  • A minimum of two Letters of Recommendation from academic sources:
    • Note: Applicants who have been out of an educational environment for a lengthy period may submit letters from alternative professional sources.

The On-campus Interview

Following completion of the application and submission of the above materials, applicants must contact the Graduate Program Coordinator (Dr. Yi  Luo)  to arrange for an on-campus interview  (Note: If distance is prohibitive, the interview can be mediated via Skype or telephone.)

Please bring the following to the interview:

  • Sample of scholarly writing from an upper-level undergraduate course in the social sciences or humanities
  • Portfolio of professional written and/or visual materials
  • Resume
  • Copy of your transcript from previous colleges attended

Interview Follow-up

Following the on-campus appointment, the School of Communication and Media will notify you of the decision regarding your acceptance into an SCM major within 10 days.  The status of your overall admission to Montclair State University will subsequently be communicated by The Graduate School.

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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Applicants to the School of Communication and Media may qualify for the University’s Federal Work-Study program, student loans or scholarships.  For information regarding costs and Financial Aid, go to:

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Information for Prospective Students

We encourage all applicants and prospective students to visit the campus to learn more about our programs. Please visit the College of the Arts’ Office of Student Services and University–Campus Visitation web pages for useful information about additional campus visit and Open House opportunities. Prospective students are also welcome to attend a School of Communication and Media General Presentation and Tour (for undergraduate programs) on scheduled dates or to arrange for a personalized tour.  Please call 973.655.7471 (at least ten days in advance) to arrange.

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